At approximately noon Friday, Archie Peterson, 38, was tackled outside of Taco Time in the Creekview Shopping Center in Price by Carbon County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Addley and retired Price City Police Officer Kevin Mele.
According to Price City Police Captain Bill Barnes, Peterson is a panhandler that has been in the local area for approximately a year to a year-and-a-half. He is currently on felony probation and has a history of drug, assault and weapons charges.
Just before noon Friday, Price City Police received a citizen complaint about Peterson panhandling in the Creekview Shopping Center. The caller stated that Peterson had been panhandling in the same area yesterday and was approaching people and frightening them, and he was back again today. Barnes explained that police had recieved reports earlier this week that Peterson was becoming increasingly more aggressive in his interactions with the public as well as complaints about what he had written on his sign. The sign earlier in the week said that he had “weed,” today it had the word “weed” crossed off with “meth” written in.
“If he had been simply holding his sign and not bothering people, he would have been left alone,” said Barnes. “He makes a living by preying on the sensitivities and compassion of the citizens in our town.”
Peterson is missing his right hand just above the wrist.
Police had given Peterson a warning yesterday about his sign and about approaching people. He agreed to comply to the warning, however, citizens observed him conducting similar behaviors near Castleview Hospital yesterday after the warning, and again today outside of Wendy’s in Price.
Carbon County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Addley was first on the scene and began talking to Peterson. Peterson became agitated and threw his sign at Addley, shoved him, then fled toward Taco Time. Addley pursued Peterson on foot and reached him just in front of Taco Time where retired Officer Kevin Mele just happened to be in the right place at he right time. When Addley reached Peterson, they engaged in a scuffle and Addley was punched in the face by Peterson. Mele was engaged at this time, and he tackled Peterson to the ground where he and Addley held him until Price City Police Officer Susan Hyde arrived. Once Officer Hyde arrived, Peterson’s left hand was cuffed and a belly chain was used to take him into custody.
Despite what he had written on his sign, no drugs or paraphernalia were found on Peterson. He was taken to the Carbon County jail and booked on charges of disorderly conduct, assault on an officer and resisting arrest. Because of his probationary status, he was placed on a 72-hour hold.